Lost Girl: Season 2, Episode 08, Death Didn’t Become Him
You know the drill. Possible spoilers through 03.13. All reviews here.
It’s only fitting an episode wholly preoccupied with death, resurrection, and immortality open with a body bag which contains a live Bo, whose immortality creates an interesting paradox between herself and those she loves.
Also, who complains the body bag smells like feet.
Lauren sneaks Bo into Nadia’s secret chamber because she’s worried her story strains credulity. In explaining this, she makes assumptions Bo cares about her. Bo doesn’t blink, because of course she deeply cares for Lauren; by this point, this is obvious to not only their close friends and enemies, but to total strangers. The Lich will assume they are lovers, and again stands uncorrected. They can’t be lovers in the carnal sense at the moment, what with the inconvenience of Lauren’s compound confinement, but this episode confirms they want to get past one-and-dones and get down to the messy business of relationshiping.
Just a few things stand in their way. Lachlan, thick stone walls, and oh yes a beautiful girlfriend in a five-year coma. The scene of showing your current paramour your unconscious girlfriend’s biodome could be really creepy, but manages to be sweet and vulnerable. Lauren is ever-so-gradually learning she can open up to Bo, and she’s also having to trust Kenzi and Dyson with her predicament. Trust is – for obvious reasons – something she has issues with. Unlike the Kenzi/Bo Bo/Dyson Dyson/Kenzi instabonds, she doesn’t trust anyone immediately and has a hard time doing so implicitly. Whether this is because of her interaction with the Fae or whether it’s a long-standing personality trait/self-defense mechanism is yet unclear, but it’s definitely a formidable thing to get over. This is one positive step, forced though it may be.
For her part, Bo acts as one imagines one hopefully would if in this situation: say something complimentary, don’t say too much, offer support.
Bo’s an opportunist, so when her Case Of The Week seems to call for a little science, she jumps at the chance to bring Lauren in. Dyson acquiesces, putting his ass on the line to bring his old flame and her current flame together under intense emotional circumstances. Assuming he knows nothing about Nadia (a safe assumption), this is the middle of Dyson’s arc of epitomizing the parts of chivalry he should want to keep; he’s ditching jealousy, possessiveness, and chauvinism for selfless acts of valor and chivalry.
Bo and Dyson are made better Fae by loving and being loved, specifically by Lauren and Ciara, but also Kenzi and in some ways Hale and Tamsin. I’ll get into this more later (some of Bo’s specifics at the end of this review), but you can see distinct negative changes in Bo and Dyson when they’re together or with someone like Ryan or Cayden or Chick of the Week.
In order to free himself up for this case, Dyson maneuvers sweet-talking Hale into being security for the Glaive’s bratty daughter, Tori. Kenzi is captivated by the allure of a rich kid, but also the fun of breaking Tori’s accompanying instructions. Thus, Hale in turn sucks Kenzi in, which makes things both easier and harder for him. Smooth as he can be, sometimes he lacks basic situation reading skills.
Kenzi and Tori run all over Hale, and he (and they) can’t figure out which rules should be broken and which are there for protection. Thankfully the plot doesn’t soften Tori to the easy ‘teenager put-upon by parents breaks the rules and finds herself;’ instead, Tori ends the tale still a total brat, still looking at Kenzi as a commodity or fun pet, and Kenzi’s freewheeling ways present consequences. This plot is mostly to keep Hale and Kenzi out of the way, while presenting a handy addition to the life/death balance the episode is covered in.
The Glaive’s daughter seems to be dead, but comes back to life. The Lich is consumed with obtaining not only experiences, but immortality, and so resurrects skilled artisans as empty shells. Gary robs graves and butchers the dead or literally eats himself up when he can’t find other sustenance. Bo is shot and recovers by sucking the Lich’s life force from his vessels. The only mortal, Lauren, is saved from the brink of dying and either being eaten or resurrected to live as a zombie. (I’m unclear on which. As seen by the Lich eating the caretaker and the entire character of Gary, eating human flesh has long been believed to give the eater immortality and/or supernatural powers. But, the Lich also seemed interested in Lauren’s super-doctoring ability, and he doesn’t have a physician in his repertoire. It could go either way.)
Humans are generally preoccupied with life/death/immortality cycles, so it makes sense Fae would be. Sci-fan shows can be a fantastic to explore these themes, both because the options are fairly limitless and because the consequences can be as well. Like Buffy (especially “Forever,” “Conversations With Dead People,” and the “Bargaining” through “Once More With Feeling” arc), Lost Girl lands on the side of ‘once you go, you can never come back the same.’ The Lich resurrects husks so he can experience their essence, but the shadows of what they once were long for the release of death.
Despite all his experiences, the Lich will always need more. He wants to feel the unbridled passion of a succubus feed. Bo refuses. Her unwillingness to feed off Lauren is framed by the Lich as self-serving – why won’t you kill your lover gently, rather than watch me kill her painfully? – but Bo has come to a place where she refuses to kill and understands she can’t relapse. (She’s yet to fully face her guilt from former kills, but that comes in two episodes.) So the Lich holds a knife to Lauren’s throat, the music gets more intense, and the show kind of cheats.
I say ‘cheats’ because the solution doesn’t come from within the situation, anything foreshadowed in the episode, or anything demonstrated as potential before. I say ‘kind of’ because both Trick and Lauren have suggested Bo could be more powerful than anyone dreamed, and because the show will carry the ideas of reflexive chi-sucking (with both Bo and Aife) and Dark Bo forward from here.
After sucking the Lich’s chi from all his vessels, Bo resurrects Christof temporarily. When she tries to breathe chi back into the other vessels, they’ve nothing to live for, so she mercy DNRs them, instead.
Christof returns to Donny for what every lover wants; a few more hours. Dyson comes in to wrap up the Tori B-plot, which in several episodes will appear as a nice set up for Bo’s future run-in with the Glaive. Lauren and Bo, for no reason other than the set was lit, go back to talk about Nadia over Nadia’s unconscious body.
Lauren has finally opened up, made herself vulnerable. She introduced Bo to Nadia. She’s sneaking around behind the Ash’s back for both her girlfriends. She told Bo – in a scene as intimate as any the two have had – how difficult the past few years have been, and how much Bo means to her. She finally voices the question, is Bo really ok with this, or will this end their friendship? Bo confirms it won’t. She’s being unselfish, determined to help save Nadia even though she understands what that means for her: no more Lauren.
Even when she was solidly with Dyson, Bo has liked knowing that Lauren was always in the wings. She hasn’t always acted like Lauren’s feelings were important (remember that loud sex right above where Lauren was baking cupcakes and fearing for her life), but Lauren was always in the back of her mind. After making the motions of unselfishness about Nadia and struggling with anger and jealousy, Bo now means it when she expresses anger at whoever cursed Nadia. It’s the same reason Dyson is not only helping Lauren out of the compound, but putting his neck on the line without bitching. Dyson wants Bo to be with Lauren because it makes her happy (which he’ll explicitly state in 3.01), Bo wants Nadia to wake up because it will make Lauren happy. They’re both figuring out when you love someone, you want what they want, you want the best for them. They’re both figuring it out, ironically but sensically, when they’re not with each other.*
It’s this display of love from Bo, and her own realization she loves Bo (which she’ll voice two episodes from now) but is finally actually going to get Nadia back and thus lose Bo, which drives Lauren to kiss Bo as desperately as she ever has when there was a genuine chance of death. Literal resurrection for one lover means figurative death for the other. And so, in the echoing white chamber which set dressing forgot, the whole episode is fittingly concluded with a kiss.
A succubus/human kiss while standing next to the yet-to-be-resurrected girlfriend is more than only “hunger, lust, the power to kill,” as the Lich says, but a symbol intertwined with the very essences of life, death, and love. In every way, it completes the episode cycles.
– Nadia lies in a Snow White coffin, but her Prince Charming is a Princess. #fuckyeahgenderreversal
– Have you and your partner talked about what happens if one of you falls into a coma? Can the conscious one incur additional partner(s)? What happens if the coma-faller wakes up, do you just add one to the equation, or does the incurred partner move on? Is there a time limit, say three weeks/months/years, before you start shopping around? Have these conversations. Public Service Announcement over.
– *Yes, Dyson and Bo are both going to digress big time in the middle of S3. Sometimes humanity/Faemanity sucks.
– The Lich puts his chi into a ‘phylactery:’ a Really Important Vessel obviously named by a dude.
– Though he’s Egyptian, even the Lich knows put-on airs should be French.
– The harpsichord as diagetic music. That’s how it’s done.
– “It’s coffee! You drink it when you’re sitting in a cafe pretending to write a novel.”